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Review: An Online Chat Turns Unnerving in ‘The Thing With Feathers’

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Alexa Shae Niziak as Anna, a teenage woman who corresponds with an older guy, in “The Thing With Feathers.”

Credit
Todd Cerveris

Anna’s computer is open at the mattress in her messy room, however she doesn’t pay the display screen a lot consideration. She’s doing homework, writing by means of hand in a pocket book as she casually banters with any person on-line — chatter about Emily Dickinson that veers into extra non-public territory.

Friendly and slightly mocking, Anna — the central persona in Scott Organ’s spine-tingling new play “The Thing With Feathers” — is much less longing for this dialog than the older man she’s speaking with. His title is Eric, or so he’s advised her, they usually’ve by no means met in individual. When he floats the theory of a real-world come across, she quashes it with the seriousness of a wise child eyeing ambitions higher than her little nook of the sector. She is 16, and she will be able to’t manage to pay for to be distracted.

“I’m just keeping my head down, you know?” she says, throwing in a Dickinson connection with make her level. “I need to get the heck out of my own personal ‘280 Main Street, Amherst, Mass.’ ”

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Zachary Booth, as Eric, bringing the flirtation head to head with Ms. Niziak in the play, a pass between a mystery and a coming-of-age tale.

Credit
Todd Cerveris

Alexa Shae Niziak, who performs Anna, may be 16, and her command of the function is unusual — as a result of she is so younger, sure, however basically as a result of she is so totally at house in her persona’s pores and skin. A veteran of Broadway displays together with “Matilda the Musical,” Ms. Niziak is the center of the very good ensemble that powers this international premiere, directed by means of Seth Barrish for The Barrow Group.

Part mystery, section coming-of-age tale, “The Thing With Feathers” is set chickens coming house to roost. The play fatally falls aside on the finish, however Mr. Organ assists in keeping us entertained for a excellent lengthy whilst ahead of that, making us bet and bet once more about what, precisely, is happening right here.

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